Tag Archives: patent

Is the Polio Vaccine an Anti-Patent Success Story?

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By Hans Sauer, Deputy General Counsel for Intellectual Property, Biotechnology Industry Organization Question from a Reader: Heather: Whether Jonas Salk believed in patenting research or not isn’t important, at least not to me. What I do find important, and hadn’t realized until reading this article, is that the polio vaccine was extremely successful despite the fact that it wasn’t patented. That sounds like an interesting story because it goes against the current dogma of ‘we won’t Read More >

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Managing in a Cost-Constrained Environment

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By Jill E. Sackman, D.V.M., Ph.D., Senior Consultant, and Matt Levy, J.D., Business Analyst, at Numerof & Associates, Inc. (NAI) The pharmaceutical industry has entered a critical period of transition. Business models that have proven remarkably successful over the past 20 years are now encountering major challenges. As biotech companies grapple with the leading symptoms of these challenges – pricing pressures, pipeline productivity concerns, a growing public distrust, and greater political and regulatory scrutiny – Read More >

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The Real Reason Why Salk Refused to Patent the Polio Vaccine

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A guest writer in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal repeated the oft quoted Jonas Salk statement about his Polio vaccine: “There is no patent.  Could you patent the sun?”  Many use this statement as the moral impetus for refusing patents on medically important innovations (see Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story).  Unfortunately, Jonas Salk created a myth that day by leaving out several crucial details. As pointed out by Robert Cook-Deegan at Read More >

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Brazilian Innovation: A Patent Success

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The story of Acheflan highlights the role of patents in homegrown innovation in developing countries.  Professor Michael Ryan of George Washington University Law School reviewed several case studies (including Acheflan) in Brazil that highlight the differences in biomedical innovation both pre- and post-intellectual property reforms. In the early 1980’s, Ache Laboratorios Farmaceuticos (a Brazilian generics manufacturer) became aware of a plant that grew near coastal cities that local fishermen would mash into an oil rub Read More >

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Exclusive Licenses Do Not Discourage Follow On Research

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A recent study presented at the Patent Statistics for Decision Makers Conference organized at the United States Patent Office questions the logic behind a nonexclusive license preference often found in U.S. government technology transfer policy. In “The Role of Exclusive Licensing in Follow-on Research of Academic Patented Inventions” presentation the authors demonstrate that, contrary to the belief by some, exclusive licensing does not impede future research. The authors ask two questions.  First, does exclusive licensing affect licensee follow-on research?  Read More >

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